But when the doctors sat him down and told him he needed surgery to repair the problems, Kasitati said he “kind of knew” he could die.
“I just kept thinking to myself, ‘If this is what God wants, then that's what I'm going to do. If it's his will for me to not play football, then there's probably something else better out there for me,' ” Kasitati said.
Kasitati underwent surgery at the end of July and returned to practice just a few days later.
“Knowing what it is now and what it could do to me, like the risk of going too far with something,” Kasitati said. “I think I'd be more careful but wouldn't let it stop me. I'd be more careful like I wouldn't take it too far like if I knew I was about to pass out. I'd tell someone but if I could go on with it I wouldn't stop.”
There is a chance, depending on the exact problems Kasitati had, that it could recur in other areas of his heart years later, but Jackman said some problems never come back.
Kasitati stood smiling as he looked down at the big body that God blessed him with and said he sends a special prayer to Him for what he's been given.
“ ... and for making me so strong and the surgery and me finding out before anything too bad happened,” Kasitati said. “Everything is a blessing. I try to be thankful for everything that I have and just make sure that just to tell myself that it's not mine its His and all the glory goes to Him.
“I still get to play football and have my family come watch me play and see them happy.
“I'm good to go.”